An abundance of apples

Inspite of being bald for most of the spring, the apple tree at the back of the garden now seems to be hiding several apples. On one branch, I had already thinned them out to two at the tip but on another, there was still more thinning to be done. Needless to say, which side has the bigger apples?


Orleans Reinette – cooking apple

The cooking apples still look largely green, though a couple have a rosy tinge. On the other hand, the crab apples are all quite colourful (not that you’d think it from the photo below). They don’t seem to have any space issues, either!


John Downie – crab apple

After the June drop (in July), there were a grand total of three baby crab apples on the ground and precisely none of the other sort. I know the crab apples should have been taken off to allow the tree to grow, considering it is only a two-year old maiden (well, nearly three now). But…. I didn’t have the heart. 

It is essentially a wild plant and as such I decided to let it do its own thing. Besides, it clearly seems a happy toddler, even if it isn’t toddling anywhere. And maybe because it’s wild it is doing better than the root-stocked Malus domestica. It, like the roses, is free of the aphids which plague the other, too 😊.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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8 Responses to An abundance of apples

  1. A Really Small Farm says:

    I have some apples that I call “feral apples” from random seedlings. A few of these are very productive and strong and one has a great sweet-tart flavor.

    • Helen says:

      To be honest ‘feral’ seems the way to go 🙂

      • A Really Small Farm says:

        I’ve tried a lot of domestic varieties but so many are susceptible to canker and fire blight. The best ones for here are Sweet 16, and crab-apple hybrids Kerr and Whitney.

        • Helen says:

          I’m not terribly familiar with apple varieties. I went to an open orchard day once and tried quite a variety but I’ve never been able to find the event again. That’s how I came to choose my Orleans Reinette. Unfortunately, I wish I had got an eating apple rather than a cooker now. And the aphids attack it something terrible 😦

          • A Really Small Farm says:

            Is Orleans Reinette cooked whole or in pies? Most of my apples except Sweet 16 are tart to bitter-sharp and get put into sauces and pies and maybe someday apple wine. I do eat the Sweet 16 and some of the sweet-tart ferals fresh. I’ve dried them, too, for winter storage.

          • Helen says:

            I think they can used for cooking anything. I’ve only had a very few so far – I think the ground is simply too dry – and I’ve just stewed them with other fruit.

            I’d like to dry apples one day but I guess my apples would be too tart. Sounds like you have a range with your Sweet 16 in the mix.

          • A Really Small Farm says:

            Tart apples are good dried but I’m partial to sour fruit anyway. I’ve dried wild plum which is very sour and astringent like chokecherries. They tasted a lot better dried.

          • Helen says:

            So maybe my apples would be good dried. Maybe, if the four left on the tree get big, I will try that with them then.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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